Saturday, December 12, 2009

Memphis, Mississippi, Arkansas

Kelly and I visited the National Civil Rights Museum, situated at the Lorraine Motel, site of Martin Luther King Jnr's assassination in 1968. The top image shows the balcony where he was standing when he was shot. I'm glad they've turned the site of his death into a monument for struggle and hope. I was so moved by this place. Really, two hours does not justice to the decades of small and large actions, huge sacrifices, hardship and hard work that changed the face of segregation and racial violence in the States.

The sad hypocrisy is that the shadow of segregation still exists in the poverty we witnessed in the Memphian black community. An acute reconfiguration is needed to address these ongoing injustices. Unfortunately, an invisible racism remains ingrained in American infrastructure and social life, no matter what they might tell you of their embrace of freedom, morality and equality.

But, if you visit Memphis, visit the museum. Read the stories of creative struggle contained within. Humans are extraordinary.

Below is as close as I got to the Mississippi river - we crossed the river into Arkansas just so i could say I crossed state lines ;)

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